The Chamber also welcomed moves to encourage small and medium enterprises, research and development, capital markets, and investments in agriculture.
But the state also had to improve transparency and rule of law
"Whilst appreciating the positive initiatives proposed in Budget 2013 to enhance equitable growth, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce firmly believes that transparency, good governance and the rule of law are essential pre-requisites to achieve the development targets set out," the business group said.
The full statement is reproduced below:
A bold government sets itself challenging targets
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the commitment to fiscal discipline displayed in Budget 2013. We are also pleased by the commitment to maintain a flexible exchange rate regime and the investment and growth targets outlined by the Authorities.
The fiscal consolidation envisaged constitutes a welcome advance towards creating a macroeconomic environment conducive for achieving these. Notwithstanding the difficult macroeconomic environment, we appreciate the efforts of the Government to continue with the tax reforms announced in the Budget 2011.
We note that the overall thrust of the budget is towards poverty alleviation and food security. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce supports these objectives as they are important components towards achieving sustainable and equitable growth. We specifically welcome the measures to encourage SMEs, private sector led R&D, capital market development, investments in agriculture and the promotion of the IT and BPO sectors.
Prudent monetary policies and the maintenance of fiscal discipline are required if the medium term macro targets announced are to be met and will play a key role if the real benefits of the progressive budgets since 2010 are to be realized.
Implementation will play a crucial role in achieving these objectives. Further, in order to sustain the medium term growth target of 8%, we encourage the Government to lay further emphasis in creating an enabling environment to attract the necessary investments and enhance exports. We believe that a focus on exports is a fundamental requirement for sustaining a high level of economic growth in a relatively small developing nation such as ours.
Whilst appreciating the positive initiatives proposed in Budget 2013 to enhance equitable growth, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce firmly believes that transparency, good governance and the rule of law are essential pre-requisites to achieve the development targets set out.